I suppose it was only a matter of time before the mass marketing about diet and fitness and weight loss caught up with Yoga.
After all, Yoga is certainly going through a period of resurgence – not the first, as these things typically move in cycles as does most of the market.
Typically though, when you read about Yoga, the topic is peace of mind, spirituality, relaxation, meditation, perhaps physical conditioning and strength (both physical and mental).
This time though, the debate rests squarely on yoga’s ability to shed pounds in a society that is struggling with record levels of obesity on the one hand, and a severe “thin” image problem held by popular celebrities on the other.
A recent study started the heated debate by claiming a link between Yoga and weight loss.
Specifically, the study found that middle-age people who practice yoga tended to experience gradual weight loss over a 10-year period, while those that did not practice yoga seemed to experience fairly substantial weight gain over the same period.
Since the study was released, a constant barrage of skeptics have pointed out flaws in the research that range from self-reported results to missing many other factors that may lead people to both practice yoga and have reduced weight.
As usual, the truth lies somewhere in the middle, at least based on my own experiences.
It is much more likely that the positive factors of yoga and meditation have on your mind and body impact your self-image, nutrition choices, and overall stress level which are major factors in weight control. We point to many of the benefits of practicing yoga over at: http://www.yogasuccess.com
Stress not only results in unhealthy binge eating and poor nutritional choices, but actually has physiological impacts on your body that often result in craving foods that can result in greater weight gain such as sugars, starches and carbohydrates.
In the end, what is important is that you are becoming healthier, happier, experience less stress in your life and enjoy your life to the maximum possible.
Let the journalists fight it out over who is technically right, after all, they are likely all fighting to meet deadlines and beat each other’s coverage of the story.
It’s time I took a break and go practice some meditation.